Behold the Little Children … After the Storm Sendong!

 

These past days, I had the privilege of helping in the sorting and distribution of relief goods to victims of the Sendong calamity in Cagayan de Oro City. As we opened and sorted boxes of old and used clothing and shoes, I reflected on the situation many of our kababayan’s are now in. I can only imagine how difficult it is not to have anything anymore – even the very basics such as pieces of underwear.

Then I came across a very young man and his father who made very meaningful remarks. The son said: “maayo unta sige baha aron naa ta’y daghan sinina.” (I wish there will always be flood so that we’ll have plenty of  clothes). I’m sure he did not really mean it literally. I’m sure he was just overwhelmed and overjoyed at that time for receiving so many nice and branded clothes, even though they were not really new.

Then I heard the father make a similar comment: “kung wala pa ta nabahaan, dili ta kasuot og branded clothes!” (If not for the flood, we will never have the chance to wear branded clothes). I’m sure he meant well …

Today, as I prepare and wait for another batch of goods for distribution, a persistent thought that has tugged my heart for some time has surfaced again. I wonder how the non-victims feel whenever they see the victims receive relief goods? For instance, I wonder how very young children (who are non-victims) feel every time new bags, lots of notebooks and pad papers, crayons, pens and pencils are distributed to their classmates who are victims of the flood. I wonder if, in their young hearts, they really and truly feel okay about the whole thing. You see, I believe that they understand … that the victims need all the help that they can get… but then I can not help remember one young child’s remark as she was watching the other children line up to receive new bags and school supplies… “maayo pa nabahaan na lang pod ko” (I wish I’m a flood victim too!) …

I felt a lump in my throat that very moment …

 

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